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Senate passes workplace discrimination bill

On Nov. 8, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a groundbreaking bill that had been almost 20 years in the making. The Employment Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender employees in workplaces in California and throughout the rest of the United States.

The bill does not have much of a chance in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner is opposed to the workplace discrimination bill, which would provide LGBT workers the same safeguards that other workers are already guaranteed as far as sex, race and religion are concerned. In addition, the protection would extend to people's gender identities as well as actual or perceived sexual orientations. Despite the opposition, President Barack Obama is encouraging the House to pass the bill so he could sign it into law.

Opponents of the bill claim that it does not include religious protection for secular businesses and that it infringes upon free speech. Some advocacy groups claim that the bill would be damaging to children, who they say are already confused by transgender individuals in positions of authority. However, several states already have laws in place that protect gay, lesbian and transgender workers from discrimination in the workplace.

Those who face discrimination in the workplace are often forced to work in hostile environments. Even though California has laws in place to protect such workers, businesses may not always choose to comply and managers might look the other way. A workplace harassment attorney might be able to help those who feel they have been unlawfully discriminated against or wrongfully terminated by their employers by pursuing negotiations or through litigation.

Source: CNN, "Senate passes LGBT anti-discrimination bill", Leigh Ann Caldwell, November 08, 2013

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